When thinking about lifestyle changes that can benefit your health, most people think physical health – they think exercising more and eating less.
What we often neglect to pay attention to is what we can do for our mental health.
While we’re big believers in the notion that physical and mental wellbeing are intrinsically linked, we also know that people aren’t doing enough to take care of their minds as well as their bodies. In fact, studies have shown that one in four people are affected by any number of mental disorders – yet, almost half of them say that they don’t know what kinds of treatment and prevention exist.
It’s time to broaden the conversation about mental health, and spread the word on what we call all do, every day, for a better state of mind.
With that, we’ve found 10 of the most powerful lifestyle changes you can make for better mental health:
Don’t eat less, eat better
You are what you eat – in both body and mind. Research has found that our diets have a great influence on our mental wellbeing, for better or worse. According to this study, adding more fruits and veggies into your diet will help you feel more optimistic, happy and resilient. Time to hit the farmers market!
Prioritize your sleep
Not getting enough sleep has been linked to inducing the symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. No matter how busy you are, make sleep your priority – commit to getting 7-8 hours every night and make your routine consistent throughout the week.
Find Ways to Bust Stress
Stress is a major aggravator of mental health issues, but unfortunately – it’s pretty hard to avoid. When life gets a little crazy, it’s good to have a coping mechanism to turn to that will keep you centered. Adopting a meditation routine can work to reduce stress and improve your mental resilience.
Exercise shouldn’t just be something you do to stay fit – it should also be something you do to stay happy. Physical activity has been labeled a ‘magic drug’ for people dealing with symptoms of anxiety and depression, and the best part is – it can take as little as 30 minutes of exercise a day for you to start reaping the benefits.
We spend so much time staring at our screens, we barely have a moment to look up and see the beauty all around us. When you feel yourself getting a bit too attached to your phone or computer, separate yourself from it and take time to reflect, think and plan for your future. Appreciate the nature, and the people, around you – you’ll feel a hundred times better for it.
Been skipping breaky? You might want to reconsider. Eating a nutritious breakfast that includes protein and healthy fats can have major benefits on your mood. A study has shown that people who eat breakfast in the mornings have fewer depressive symptoms. Avocado and egg on toast, anyone?
One thing many of the healthiest people in the world possess? A strong sense of community. Giving back to your community forces you out of your head and into putting your energy towards something really positive. This can be super effective in reducing stress and enhancing your outlook.
When you start your journey of embarking on these changes, it’s ok to start small – you can always build on these habits later. Good mental health means enjoying what you’re doing, so choose techniques that feel good for you. That way, you’ll be able to make more long-term changes that nurture your mental wellbeing.